NUI Grads: Register to vote for the Seanad


In search of a New Year’s resolution? Get your name on the Seanad Register before this year’s deadline on February 26 and have a say on Ireland’s future Senators.

The Seanad provides a high-profile platform and tax-payer budget to Senators who advocate for reproductive rights in Ireland—and to those who undermine and attack them.

Take for example Senator Catherine Noone whose informed and reasoned leadership of the All Party Oireachtas Committee that examined the Eighth Amendment led the way to the referendum in May 2018.

Or consider Senator Rónán Mullen who has used his position as Senator to undermine safe, reproductive health for women for over ten years in Ireland and Europe. Mullen’s attacks on women are too many and too awful to restate here but be assured they will continue at scale if re-elected.

Of the 60 seats in the Seanad, six are elected by registered graduates of two universities*: three for the National University of Ireland (UCD, UCC, Galway, Maynooth and more), and three for Trinity College. If you are an Irish citizen and a graduate of these institutions, regardless of where you live in the world, you are eligible to vote in the Seanad elections provided you register before February 26.

Registration requires a little effort, but not much. Full details on how to register are found here. Unlike presidential votes and referenda, Irish Diaspora who are eleigible to vote can do so via postal ballot and are not required to vote in person. 

Think your vote won’t count? Rónán Mullen was elected by the National University of Ireland Seanad constituency in July 2007—that’s your constituency if you’re a graduate of UCD, UCC or the many other universities in the NUI family—and re-elected for a second term in 2011.

The next Seanad election will take place within 90 days of the next general election; there is no definite date for these elections but it’s safest to assume anything is possible in today’s unpredictable times. What is certain, is that you must register before February 26 if you want to vote this year should an election take place.

We have repealed the Eighth Amendment but the fight is not over; register today.

* This system is unjustifiably exclusive and not befitting modern day Ireland; we support efforts by Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad (VICA) and others to reform it.

Hannah Little